It is hardly fair to cast blame at any individual who has yet to have his or her day in court, but as experienced New Jersey trial attorneys who defend motorists and other individuals against a variety of criminal charges and traffic offenses we do know a little bit about the unintended consequences of drinking and driving. As we have mentioned many times before, New Jersey police officers, as well as our courts, have very little sympathy for people who apparently make a conscious decision to drive while intoxicated on public roads.
When it comes to defending drivers who have been accused of drunken driving, operation of a motor vehicle while drug-impaired, or even those who are caught with a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in their vehicle, we understand the law and the potential penalties attached to these various offenses.
Though we make no judgments until all the facts are in, we always recommend caution to those individuals who may find themselves in a situation where a drink or two, maybe more, of beer, wine or hard liquor might precede a drive home. There is no sense, legally or financially, in taking a chance on being stopped by a police officer when driving an automobile if there is any possibility that one may be found legally intoxicated at that time.
Still, these kinds of incidents happen all across the Garden State, week in and week out. Take for instance the news report we saw a couple of months back where a woman injured herself when she allegedly crashed into a utility pole along a stretch of Forest Avenue only to become a victim herself of a second alcohol-related collision that severely injured a second person who had apparently come to her aid.
According to news reports, the initial alleged DWI-related crash took place in Bergen County, NJ, near the intersection of Norman Way and Forest Ave. during the early morning hours on a Friday. Based on police information, a 21-year-old Paramus, NJ, woman was allegedly drunk when she somehow lost control of her vehicle and reportedly struck a utility pole adjacent to the roadway. From the news article, it appeared that another driver either saw the incident happen or noticed its aftermath and stopped his vehicle to lend assistance to the young woman.
After contacting police regarding the initial incident, 21-year-old Farbod Fallah, also resident of Paramus, got out of his vehicle to help the other driver just slightly past 2am. According to news articles, as the Good Samaritan was standing between the two vehicles, those cars were hit by a third vehicle driven by 30-year-old Gregory Komporlis from River Edge, NJ, who was headed toward the accident scene from the opposite direction on northbound Forest Ave.
As a result of the collision, Mr. Fallah was apparently pinned between his car and the woman’s vehicle. Police reports indicated that the victim sustained seriously injuries to head and his legs. Fallah was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition at the time of the news article.
Police lodged criminal charges against Komporlis following an investigation headed up by the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit out of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the Bergen Sheriff’s Department and the Paramus police department. Officers arriving on the scene had reportedly determined right away that Komporlis was drunk at the times of the collision.
In addition to reckless driving, Komporlis reportedly faced one count of second degree assault by auto, which if he is convicted of that charge is punishable here in New Jersey by upward of 10 years in jail. The man also refused to submit to a breath test. The court set the defendant’s bail at $50,000 pending a pre-trial hearing in the Paramus Municipal Court. The woman who hit the utility pole was also cited for DWI and reckless driving; however, she was not subject to any criminal charges.
Paramus man in critical condition after pulling over to help crash victim, NorthJersey.com, December 15, 2012